Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Meredith Aby

By Meredith Aby

Twin Cities marches in solidarity with Palestine. | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

St. Paul, MN – On February 25, over 1000 people carrying Palestinian flags and signs lined both sides of the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River and then marched to Governor Tim Walz’ Eastcliff Mansion residence to demand that the Minnesota State Board of Investments (SBI) divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers, banks and bonds, and other entities complicit in Israel’s apartheid system in Palestine. Research done by the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) shows that the MN SBI invests more than $3 billion this way.

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By Meredith Aby

Pro-Palestine protesters pack Saint Paul city council meeting. | Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal

St. Paul, MN – On February 21, the Free Palestine Coalition organized their Saint Paul supporters to pack the Saint Paul city council meeting for the third week in a row to show support for their passage of a ceasefire resolution.

When Palestine solidarity activists tried to speak during the public comment section they were told that their comments were not on topic and that they had to stop talking.

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By Meredith Aby

Saint Paul, Minnesota protest against Israeli attack on Rafah.  | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

St. Paul, MN – On February 18, 1000 protesters marched in Saint Paul’s upscale Summit Hill neighborhood to protest Israel’s assault on the city of Rafah, the last zone of relative safety for Palestinians in Gaza.

The action was organized by the Free Palestine Coalition which comprises dozens of Twin Cities progressive and solidarity organizations.

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By Meredith Aby

Protest against Mayor Frey's veto of Palestine resolution. | Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal

Minneapolis, MN – On February 1, 400 people gathered across from the Minneapolis City Hall to protest Mayor Jacob Frey’s veto of the ceasefire resolution that the Minneapolis city council had passed the previous week.

The Free Palestine Coalition organized the protest to urge the city council to override Frey’s veto. The original resolution passed with nine votes, enough to override the mayor’s veto if all nine stay united behind the original resolution.

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By Meredith Aby

“No New Year’s as usual” protest at Twin Cities shopping mall.  | Fight Back! News/Ashley Taylor- Gougé

Maple Grove, MN – As Gazans exit 2023 under siege, suffering from grief, starvation and ongoing bombings by the Israeli occupation forces, 1000 people demonstrated at the Arbor Lakes Mall in Maple Grove on New Years Eve. The protest was organized by the Free Palestine Coalition to disrupt “New Year as usual” in an effort to galvanize further action in support of their resolution for 2024: freedom from genocide and Israeli occupation in Palestine.

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By Meredith Aby

Cars lining up for the Palestine caravan. | Fight Back! News/Samantha Alsadi

Minneapolis, MN – On December 14, the Minnesota Anti-War Committee (AWC) led a caravan of over 40 cars with the Free Palestine Coalition to draw attention to the people of Palestine facing genocidal violence during evening rush hour.

Protesters decorated their cars with signs and Palestinian flags. Half of them drove slowly on Interstate-94 between Minneapolis and Saint Paul while the other half drove slowly south to Lake Street, then to Hennepin Avenue and to Franklin Avenue. At the same time, protesters held banners and Palestinian flags over I-94 on the 25th Avenue bridge near Augsburg University in Minneapolis and on the Lexington Avenue bridge in Saint Paul.

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By Meredith Aby

Protest outside Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips’ office to challenge his positions on Palestine. | Fight Back! News/Robyn Harbison

Minnetonka, MN – On December 6, over 80 people turned out in Minnetonka next to Interstate 394 to protest during rush hour. The Free Palestine Coalition organized the protest outside Representative Dean Phillips’ office, Minnesota Congressional representative for the 3rd District, to draw attention to his positions on Palestine.

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By Meredith Aby

Bloomington, MN – National calls were made for protests and boycott actions on Black Friday, the largest shopping day of the year, to draw attention to Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza. At the Mall of America in Bloomington, the largest mall in the United States, protesters dropped multiple banners on November 24 in solidarity with Palestine.

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By Meredith Aby

Protest for Palestine at the office of Representative McCollum. | Sigal Photos/Brad Sigal

St. Paul, MN – The MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) called on its supporters in the anti-war movement, the Muslim community and the Palestinian community on to protest Representative Betty McCullom for her recent support for Israel’s war on Palestine.

Twelve protesters, aged 14 to 84, entered her office October 25 and refused to leave until they got to speak to the representative about her silence on the loss of Palestinian lives. Meanwhile, 1000 people rallied outside the representative’s office.

Historically, the anti-war movement has seen Representative McCollum as an important congressional ally for her introduction of the Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, which would have prohibited Israel from using U.S. taxpayer dollars for “the military detention, abuse, or ill treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention; the seizure and destruction of Palestinian property and homes in violation of international humanitarian law; or any assistance or support for unilateral annexation of Palestinian lands in violation of international humanitarian law.”

On Sunday, October 22, over 400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes in one day. McCollum’s own constituents are concerned about her silence on the incredible loss of Palestinian lives.

Members of the AWC, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) met with her Saint Paul staff in person and later with her chief of staff over the phone. The demonstrators demanded to meet with McCollum, but staffers insisted she couldn’t come to the phone because she was on the House floor. The activists later discovered, while still occupying McCollum's office, that while they were waiting to meet with her, she was busy voting in favor of House Resolution 771, which supported Israel’s “right to defend itself.”

Drake Myers, an activist with the Anti-War Committee, participated in the sit-in and said, “As Palestine solidarity organizers we are well aware that Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ – especially at this stage – is code for total U.S. support for the genocide of Gazans. Israel is fundamentally not defending itself; it was founded on the murder and displacement of indigenous Palestinians in 1948 and is widely recognized as an apartheid state. It is beyond shameful that McCollum, who has been a consistent voice opposing Israeli war crimes and supporting Palestinian self-determination, has made a total betrayal: voting for this resolution, issuing statements condemning the Palestinian resistance, and arresting Palestine solidarity activists instead of meeting with us in good faith.”

Andrew Josefchak, also a member of the Anti-War Committee, states, “After casting this disgusting vote, Betty McCollum had the audacity to say that Israel must constrain itself to a 'proportional response.' Israel has already cut Gaza off from water, food, fuel and electricity. Israel has already killed at least 7000 Palestinians. Israel has already demolished hospitals, schools and entire apartment blocks. Israeli politicians have called for a 'new Nakba.' For McCollum to say 'Israel’s response must be proportional and consider the innocent Palestinian lives at stake in Gaza' at this point is ridiculous. Israel's actions are genocidal.”

Protesters refused to leave until McCollum promised to vote no on Biden's proposed $14 billion in military aid to Israel and to release a statement calling for the immediate cessation of the Israeli bombing and siege of Gaza and for no ground invasion.

The sit-in began at 1:30 p.m. and continued until 10:30 p.m. All 12 people were arrested and charged with trespassing.

#StPaulMN #Palestine #AntiWar #AWCMN #WAMM #MIRAC

By Meredith Aby

Massive rally for Palestine at Minnesota State Capitol.  | Fight Back! News/Meredith Aby

St. Paul, MN – On October 18, more than 8000 people demonstrated on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol building to show solidarity with Palestine and to highlight the U.S. role in endorsing and funding the ongoing Israeli war on Palestine.

The protest was organized by American Muslims for Palestine – Minnesota, Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Minnesota , and the Minnesota Anti-War Committee.

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